Evaluating Assisted Living Facilities in Los Angeles - Key Factors
Dec 17th, 2021
The process of finding an assisted living facility or memory care community for your loved one can be overwhelming. There are hundreds of senior living communities and board and care homes in the Los Angeles area. What are the questions you should be asking when you go to tour? What should you look for in choosing a facility for your loved one?
The first and most important thing is to get a feel for the “vibe” of a place. Facilities really do have varying personalities. The Brookdale in Tarzana is very different from the Brookdale in Santa Monica. Do you see people who look like your mom, dad or other loved one?
Are the staff interacting with residents? Are the residents engaged? Are people talking to one another? Are you being welcomed by the staff? Do you see any smiles? You want a place that is not depressing.
Your best option is to use a reputable senior living advisor whose full-time job it is to identify and evaluate independent living, assisted living and Alzheimer’s/dementia care options. In Los Angeles, one of the most trusted senior living experts is Sarah Ordover, owner of Assisted Living Locators Los Angeles. Here is her suggested list of other key questions you should look for in evaluating options:
1. Health and Care
a. Is there a licensed nurse on staff?
b. How many caregivers are on a shift to care for residents?
c. What kind of training does the care staff receive?
d. If providing memory care, what kind of specialized training in Alzheimer’s and dementia is required?
e. How does a resident summon a caregiver when needed?
f. How do they handle a resident who is a fall risk?
g. Do caregivers perform other roles (housekeeping or serving food) or are they exclusively dedicated to caregiving?
h. Is there awake night staff? How many?
i. What are the limitations on care? Can the facility handle two-person lifts, hoyer lifts, hospice, catheter care, diabetes, or other specialized services?
2. Apartments and Cost
a. What is the monthly base service rate for an apartment? What are the differences in price?
b. What amenities are included in the base cost?
c. Is cable and internet included?
d. How do they structure the additional cost for care?
e. Are there additional costs for medication management or incontinence care?
f. What is the average annual rate increase?
g. Is there a one-time community fee?
h. What other charges are not included in either the base rent or care costs?
3. Activities and Socialization
a. Do the activities align with the resident’s interests?
b. Does the community offer the amenities the resident wants?
c. Do you see residents participating in the activities when you are touring?
d. Do the residents seem to be engaged with one another, the staff and their surroundings?
e. Are pets allowed?
f. What kind of transportation is provided? Is it wheelchair accessible?
g. Are there outings and transportation for supermarket and drug stores runs?
h. What kind of dining options are available? Look at the menu. Food is important. Would your loved one like the food?
This is an important decision, so ask questions of the staff until you feel satisfied that you understand all the options, policies, and benefits of the senior living facilities that meet your criteria. Knowing the answers will make you feel confident in your final selection.
Assisted Living Locators Los Angeles owner Sarah Ordover is one of LA’s top senior living advisors. Certified in dementia care, Sarah is a trained aging specialist who holds an RCFE assisted living administrator’s license. Sarah thoughtfully guides families through the senior living decision-making process, helping them find the best solution for their loved ones. Call Sarah at 310-853-8282 for a consultation. Assisted Living Locators is no-cost to clients.